Thursday, November 12, 2020

From Ian:

An encounter with Rabbi Sacks, a Jewish leader who inspired a generation
Rabbi Sacks was wise, kind and humble. We discussed many things, yet there was one piece of advice that has guided my thoughts ever since, embodying within it much of who Rabbi Sacks was. I was at a crossroads, I explained. I was learning for the rabbinate, beginning law and philosophy studies, and was passionate about Jewish leadership and Israeli politics. I expected to hear the advice Rabbi Sacks received from the Rebbe, maybe even hoping for it. I was positive that I had flown to London to hear that I must be a rabbi. But Rabbi Sacks was truly a leader, a creator of leaders. Above all, he knew how to translate the message, for a whole generation, and for each person individually.

Rabbi Sacks did not in fact advise me to be a rabbi. Israel is unique, he said. Its public sphere is not shaped by rabbis in the same way that Diaspora communities are. Listening to my story, he crafted the befitting message. The Rebbe had told Rabbi Sacks to become a community rabbi and train Jewish leaders. If I wanted to help shape the Jewish future, Rabbi Sacks claimed, being a rabbi, for me, may not be the only path.

Rabbi Sacks challenged me to seek the platforms to promote Judaism and Israel, and shape Jewish peoplehood in the special arena of a Jewish homeland. Jewish leadership in every place and generation takes different form. I should dedicate my life to Klal Yisrael by seeking those spaces in which the Jewish people need public servants for tomorrow.

Beyond his unbounded wisdom, humility and kindness, Rabbi Sacks uniquely carried the mantle of Jewish translation. Second-century tanna Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi translated the Oral Torah and kept it alive. The Rambam translated Judaism to philosophy. Rabbi Sacks translated Judaism to the world, and the world to Judaism.

He taught the UK, the queen and all who would listen, that Judaism promoted a particularism, a “dignity of difference.” And he translated a message of universalism to Judaism, inspiring a generation of Jews to try and “heal a fractured world.” During my brief, yet powerful encounter with Rabbi Sacks, he translated the advice he received in his youth, to help guide my life, recognizing the dignity and difference in everyone. May his memory be a blessing for all of us.
Remembering Jewish giants: Adin Steinsaltz, Jonathan Sacks – opinion
In the last month, two Jewish giants left us: Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz-Even Yisroel, and Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. Each in their own way left a great impression on the Jewish people and the world around them.

Rabbi Steinsaltz’s remarkable intellectual bounty included opening the Talmud with his historic translation. He authored dozens of works, including a modern commentary on the Torah synergizing classical scholarship with contemporary insights.

Rabbi Sacks’s strength was in connecting two worlds: the depth of Jewish scholarship and contemporary thought. He was able to bridge the secular bastion of Oxford and the world of Torah, becoming an articulate spokesman of Judaism to Jews and non-Jews, even on the airwaves of the BBC.

Both did not fit the conventional Jewish religious mold. While continuing to remain committed to Halacha, Jewish law, they were able to reach beyond the world of Orthodox Judaism and impact the broader society.

They shared the quality of individualism. Steinsaltz was the classic enfant terrible, always willing to challenge traditional thought. Some years ago, I organized the National Conference on Jewish and Contemporary Law headlined by Rabbi Steinsaltz and former US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Israel Advocacy Movement: DEBATE: Is anti-Zionism anti-Semitism?
Panellists… Joseph Cohen - Israel Advocacy Movement Dr Ronald Mendel - Palestine Museum Joanna Phillips - Jewdas Sabrina Miller Moderator: Izzy Posen

UN Watch: WHO Meeting Deviates From Coronavirus to Single Out Israel As Violator of Health Rights
Deviating from its focus on the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, the annual assembly of the UN’s World Health Organization held a four-hour session focused on Israel, which saw itself condemned in speeches by some 30 delegations, including Iran, Syria, North Korea, Cuba, Malaysia, Lebanon and Venezuela, for allegedly violating the health rights of Palestinians and Syrians in the Golan Heights.

The session concluded with a vote of 78 to 14, with 32 abstentions, to adopt a resolution, co-sponsored by Syria, Cuba, Turkey, Qatar and the Palestinian delegation, requiring the WHO to hold the same debate at next year’s assembly, and to prepare another report on the “Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.”

Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based United Nations Watch, an independent non-governmental organization that monitors the UN, condemned the “cynical politicization of the world’s top health agency at the expense of focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic and other vital global health priorities and emergencies.”

WHO Singles Out Israel, Ignores Syria, Yemen, Venezuela
“Out of 23 items on the current world health assembly’s Agenda, only one, Item 17 targeting Israel, focused on a specific country. There was no agenda item or resolution on any other country, conflict, civil war or political impasse—not on Syria, where hospitals and other medical infrastructure are repeatedly and deliberately bombed by Syrian and Russian forces; not on war-torn Yemen, where 14 million are in dire need of health assistance; and not on Venezuela, where the health system is in a state of collapse and 7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance,” said Neuer.

Session Falsely Accused Israel of Violating Palestinian & Syrian Health Rights
“Today’s four-hour assault on Israel at the WHO promoted the lie that Israel is harming Palestinian health rights,” said Neuer. “The opposite is true.”
Pompeo expected to announce process for US to label groups, NGOs antisemitic
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has decided to form a new process by which the US can declare organizations and groups to be antisemitic, three people close to the issue have confirmed, although they noted that he may hold off on making an announcement, Politico has reported.

No specific organizations were named by those in the know, however, in October, the American political news site reported that Pompeo was weighing whether to label Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Oxfam as antisemitic because of their alleged support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

Last year, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, a definition on which the process is expected to rely as it lists anti-Zionism as an example of antisemitism. The BDS movement, under this framework, can therefore be considered antisemitic.

Oxfam representatives say their organization does not support the movement, while Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International say they do not take a position on it, according to Politico. However, others argue that while the three groups do not explicitly back the movement, they have released reports critical of Israel's actions in Gaza and the West Bank.

A report into the work of Amnesty International by David Collier, commissioned by Jewish Human Rights Watch and published last year, claimed the NGO is strongly biased against the Jewish state and other actors, such as India, while ignoring human rights violations by Pakistan. “Targets are not chosen for their actions, but rather for their identity,” wrote Collier.
Douglas Murray: Macron alone: where are France’s allies in the fight against Islamism?
Afew years ago, in a Lords debate on the treatment of Christians in the Middle East, the late Rabbi Jonathan Sacks reminded his peers of some famous words of Martin Luther King: ‘In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.’

That reflection may now be going through the head of the French President, Emmanuel Macron. In recent weeks he has been left alone on one of the most dangerous and delicate ledges of our time: that of Islamic extremism. And while he has already incurred the wrath of much of the so-called Muslim world — with French goods disappearing from many Arab supermarkets and Macron condemned from Ankara to Islamabad — it is the silence of everyone else that has been so striking.

A string of fast-moving events began early last month when President Macron delivered some remarks on what he called ‘Islamist separatism’ in France. In a major speech he warned that a portion of France’s roughly six million Muslims were forming a ‘counter-society’. A fortnight later a French schoolteacher, Samuel Paty, was decapitated in a Paris suburb on his way home from school. The teacher’s ‘crime’ had been to talk to his class about the importance of free expression. This included showing them some of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons of Mohammed. A campaign of vilification occurred among some of the local Muslim community and soon an 18-year-old Chechen armed with a 12-inch knife was on the way to Paty’s school. As Macron said subsequently, Paty was killed ‘because he taught the... freedom of expression, the freedom to believe or not believe’.

Such speeches are now common after such atrocities. We say ‘Je suis Charlie’ and then forget about it. But Macron seems to be serious. In the best traditions of the Republic, he stressed the non-negotiability of French secularism. He then said things that any honest interlocutors in the Muslim world would have recognised, praising, for instance, the ‘Islam of the Enlightenment’. As in his previous statements, he made it clear he does not regard Islam as the problem. His enemy — France’s enemy — is a radical form of the religion to which more Enlightenment forms are the answer.

Sadly, honest interlocutors in the international arena are hard to find. And never harder than among those endlessly campaigning to be the leader of the world’s Muslims. The most eager candidate for would-be Caliph this time (as ever) has been Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Speaking to his party at the end of last month, the Turkish President said: ‘What is Macron’s problem with Muslims and Islam?’ He went on to claim that the French President requires ‘some sort of mental treatment’ over his attitudes towards Muslims in France. ‘What else is there to say about a head of state who doesn’t believe in the freedom of religion and behaves this way against the millions of people of different faiths living in his own country?’
Clifford D. May: The death threat to free speech in France
Among the countries ruled by Muslims, there have been a range of responses as well. The United Arab Emirates condemned the attacks strongly and unequivocally.

By contrast, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan asked: “What is Macron’s problem with Islam? What is his problem with Muslims? Macron needs some sort of mental treatment.” Erdoğan also is furious because Charlie Hebdo ran a cartoon mocking him. Turkish officials have called that “racist,” and vowed diplomatic and legal consequences.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan accused the French president of encouraging “Islamophobia,” adding: “Blasphemy in the garb of freedom of expression is intolerable.”

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad asserted on Twitter that Muslims have a right to “kill millions of French people” in retaliation for past French crimes. (A year ago, as noted in this space, Columbia University honored Mohamad.)

It is often said that France is not doing enough to integrate Muslim immigrants and their children. That may be true, but such criticism is rarely accompanied by concrete proposals for government programs likely to achieve that objective.

Complicating the task is the frequently leveled charge that attempts to inculcate traditional French values such as free speech and laïcité—secularism in the public square—violate multiculturalism, an ideology that has been embraced by Europe’s elites.

It’s hard to see how this ends well. With encouragement from such prominent international figures as Messrs. Mohamad, Khan and Erdoğan, not to mention the Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda and the Islamic State, Islamism is not going away anytime soon. In one form or another, it will continue to appeal to a small but lethal—and therefore powerful—minority of Muslims in Europe.

How consequential will it be if the French acquiesce, agreeing to carve out an exception to free speech in deference to Islamists? Very.

For one, it would establish, de facto, the supremacy of Islam over all other religions. For another, once it becomes apparent that the French government cannot guarantee basic freedoms to its citizens, and that violence commands silence, some on the far left and far right are likely to employ the same tactics. Under such pressures, it’s probable, perhaps inevitable, that freedom of speech, along with other freedoms, will wither and die.
MEMRI: Egyptian Writer Living In Germany: Pluralistic Europe, Which Renounced Religious Wars, Is Now Surrendering To The 'Monster' Of Extremist Political Islam
Following the recent series of terror attacks in Europe, Hamed 'Abdel-Samad, a liberal Egyptian writer living in Germany, published an article in the liberal Egyptian newspaper Al-Maqal and on the Moroccan news website Al-Kanat, in which he harshly criticized Europe for allowing extremist political Islam to run rampant on its soil in the name of tolerance and cultural pluralism. The "monster" of political Islam, he said, which is sponsored by Turkey, Qatar and Iran, aims to impose its extremist values wherever it gains a foothold, and establishes mosques in which it poisons the minds of the Muslims living in Europe. Al-Samad, who has been living in Germany for 25 years and has written extensively against political Islam, added that he too now fears retaliation from terrorists. Like other critics of the Islamists in Europe, he cannot walk freely in the streets or deliver lectures without fearing for his life, he said. Yet, instead of fighting the Islamist terror and closing the mosques that preach hatred and violence, European countries embrace Turkey, Qatar and Iran, he added. Moreover, they ask the movements of political Islam to help them draft curricula for Islamic schools, and provide Turkish President Erdogan, the "official sponsor of terror," with billions in financial aid. Al-Samad called on the Muslims to fight political Islam in their own countries, for it will not rest until it devours everyone.

The following are translated excerpts from the article: [1]
"The Islamists have once again struck in Europe. Within two weeks, terrorists perpetrated several attacks that rocked the most beautiful Western cities and raised numerous questions regarding Europe's treatment of political Islam. Fear filled the hearts of the residents of Paris, Nice, Dresden and Vienna, yet Western politicians are still confounded and don't know how to destroy this monster which [they themselves] permitted to grow in the name of cultural tolerance and pluralism.

"Ever since the events of September 11, I hear Western politicians saying, 'There will be no tolerance towards those who are intolerant,' or 'We will suppress terrorism with an iron fist.' However, it seems that this is nothing more than empty rhetoric, intended to pacify public opinion. Only the president of France and the chancellor of Austria have dared to explicitly criticize political Islam and its leader, [Turkish President] Erdoğan, while the chancellor of Germany [Angela Merkel] dreams of receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for opening the gates of her country to additional Muslims, who enter claiming that they are refugees fleeing from the dictatorships in the [countries of the] East.

"Political Islam, which destroyed the countries of the East and cast them into the darkness of ignorance, fanaticism, and civil and sectarian wars, has infiltrated Europe and is now attempting to impose its laws on the descendants of Voltaire, Immanuel Kant and Mozart. It was not content with isolating the Muslims in slums in the West and creating a cultural and moral rift between them and the countries which took them in and granted them citizenship. [Now] it is trying to intimidate anyone who criticizes it and wants to dictate what the teachers say in [Western] schools, what lecturers say in the universities and what writers [write] in their articles and books.

"After threatening to murder Salman Rushdie and murdering the cartoonists and employees at Charlie Hebdo, they have now slaughtered history teacher Samuel Paty on a main street [in a Paris suburb] because he showed his class the Charlie Hebdo cartoons to discuss with his students, both Muslim and non-Muslim, the topic of freedom of expression and its clash with the sentiments of Muslims in France. But political Islam is not interested in freedom [of expression] nor in the sentiments of the Muslims. It is interested only in imposing its ideas and lifestyle everywhere it sets foot. As far as it is concerned, the sentiments of Muslims are nothing more than fuel for its precisely calculated wars.
Barry Shaw: Why are US Jewish groups silent about anti-Semitism in Congress?
Why is it that the ZOA is the only Jewish organization in America that initiated instant condemnation of Ilhan Omar's latest anti-Semitic drumbeat against Israel?

The new set of Omar lies, tweeted after the US election, included the blood libel that Israel is ethnically cleansing the Palestinians, accusing the Jewish State of "leaving an entire community homeless in direct violation of international law."

As a member of the US Foreign Affairs Committee, Omar is using these blatant lies in an attempt to condition a possible incoming Biden Administration into stopping US aid to the Jewish state or, in her words, that America "should not bankroll Israel's actions."

Ilhan Omar is, however, very much in favor of renewing US funding to the Palestinian Authority without the PA being required to stop rewarding their murdering terrorists with American taxpayers’ money for their obscene ‘Pay to Slay’ policy as required by the Taylor Force Act, a bill initiated by President Trump to discourage acts of Palestinian terrorism.

In a French article, Omar twisted truth by avoiding mention of murderous Palestinian Islamist terror groups including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Salafists, as well as the more secular PLO and PLFP, by characterizing them as "victims."

Should Biden become President, with his party still dominating the House, malevolent anti-Semites led by Omar and Rashida Tlaib will be the ones setting American foreign policy, actively promoting devious regimes such as Somalia, the Muslim Brotherhood, and anti-Israel governments that will set the Middle East back to the bad pre-Trump era of uncertainty and violence.
George Soros Looms Large Over Biden Transition
Joe Biden's transition team includes several people affiliated with organizations bankrolled by the left-wing billionaire George Soros.

Biden's "Agency Review Teams," which include lists of individuals "responsible for understanding the operations" of each government agency, will prepare "President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris … to hit the ground running on Day One." Soros is well represented on those lists.

Sarah Cross, an advocacy director at Soros's Open Society Foundations, received a seat on Biden's State Department transition team. Michael Pan, a special adviser in the executive office of the Open Society Foundations, will join the United States Mission to the United Nations team. Diane Thompson, who is listed as "self-employed" and a member of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau team, is a current Leadership in Government Fellow at the Open Society Foundations.

Soros poured more than $70 million into election activity backing Biden's candidacy this past cycle, more than three times his previous high of $22 million in the 2016 election cycle. Soros and the Democracy Alliance donor club previously enjoyed close access to the Obama administration; under a Biden administration, that access will likely return.

Other members of Biden's transition team work for groups that receive heavy funding from the billionaire. Sharon Burke and Viv Graubard, both at the New America think tank, will join Biden's Department of Defense and Department of Labor teams. Soros's Open Society Foundations gave New America more than $1 million last year, according to the group's disclosures. Soros's son, Jonathan, sits on New America's board emeriti.
De Blasio joins crowds celebrating Biden’s win — yet slams the Orthodox for outdoor activities
“We need to do everything in our power to stop the coronavirus from reasserting in New York City. We have to stop a second wave from happening here, it is getting dangerously close,” Mayor Bill de Blasio warned Tuesday.

That was just two days after he joined the joyous crowds celebrating after news media called the race for Joe Biden. Huh? If the mayor really feared New York was about to get hit again, joining a street-rager was no way to preach public safety and caution.

The latest numbers aren’t that much worse than what he knew Sunday, yet suddenly he’s insisting there’s just “one last chance” to stop a huge second wave of infections, and “everyone has to be a part of” it.

Will Black Lives Matter count this time, Mr. Mayor? They didn’t over the summer. Who else doesn’t count as “everyone”?

De Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo keep singling out Orthodox Jews, even as they cut breaks for demonstrations of their choosing. It makes no sense.

Nor do their hints at a return to total lockdowns. Greater caution is a must, especially for high-risk people, if things get worse. But shutting down outdoor activities, or carefully secured religious services, makes no sense — especially when the mayor is breaking the rules when he wants to. (h/t Gary)
StandWithUs Condemns Campaign to Prevent Positive Changes to the CA Ethnic Studies Curriculum
StandWithUs supports numerous recommendations by the California Department of Education (CDE) to change the state's Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC), along with additional clarifications and revisions. We urge the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) to adopt changes which will improve the curriculum at its November 18th meeting, and reject pressure from anti-Israel extremists who exploit ethnic studies to promote bias and hate.

"It is clear that the CDE has recognized many of the concerns raised by Governor Newsom, StandWithUs, our partners, and citizens across California," said Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs. "That said, the IQC still has to approve any changes which would make the curriculum more balanced and inclusive. We also remain deeply concerned that education officials have not committed to adding a comprehensive definition of antisemitism in all its forms. Furthermore, anti-Israel extremists are now pressuring the IQC to reject many positive revisions. They are demanding a special place for Arab Americans and anti-Israel propaganda in the ESMC, and calling it an 'insult' to treat Arabs Jews, Armenians, Sikhs, Koreans, and other communities equally. That means we still have a lot of work to do to ensure California gets this right."

The first draft of the ESMC was released in July, 2019. It was widely criticized for promoting hate and one-sided narratives against Jews and Israel, excluding Jews and many other ethnic groups, and "imposing predigested political views on students". In response to a massive wave of critical feedback from concerned Californians - much of it mobilized by StandWithUs and our partners - the CDE committed to making significant revisions to the curriculum. In the months that followed, some groups launched a deeply misleading campaign to preserve the flawed first draft.

The most recent draft was released at the beginning of September. This received an outpouring of critical comments as well, including a detailed analysis by StandWithUs. Concerns about the draft include the ESMC's guiding values and principles being used to justify bringing hate and bias into classrooms, exclusion or unequal treatment of Jews and many other communities, and the lack of education about antisemitism.
“This is being treated as a hate crime,” police say after swastika daubed in Leeds University hall popular with Jewish students
A swastika was found graffitied with red paint on a hall of residence popular with Jewish students at the University of Leeds.

The word “Nazi” was also painted beside the swastika on a wall in the Charles Morris Hall building.

The University confirmed that the graffiti, found over the weekend, has been removed.

A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police reportedly said: “This is being treated as a hate crime and will be investigated accordingly. Officers are working with the university to identify suspects and anyone with information can contact police on 101, or by using the options on the West Yorkshire Police website. The crime reference is 13200552418.”

It is understood that the University suspects that this represented a “one-off indiscriminate act of vandalism by intruders” and that it was “unaware of any direct threats made to anyone living in the halls of residence”. Security patrols have apparently been increased at halls.
How anti-Semitism and hate on social media is a chance to educate
Knesset member Michal Cotler-Wunsh was born in Israel but raised in Canada. Newly installed this year as an MK from the Blue and White party, the attorney and activist says the sort of outsider’s thinking that new immigrants can offer is just what Israel needs at this time of unprecedented crisis.

In a wide-ranging conversation with this writer for The Times of Israel’s Behind the Headlines series, screened exclusively for the ToI Community, Cotler-Wunsh, 49, pushed back against a widespread sense of a frozen and feckless political system, and insisted that, to borrow former Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s catchphrase, a crisis like COVID is a terrible thing to waste.

Cotler-Wunsh is closely identified with efforts in the Knesset to tackle anti-Semitism online, especially on major social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. The key, she said, was to get away from the free speech discussion to one focused on education.

The Knesset has held three committee hearings on online anti-Semitism in recent months.

“The point of the discussions was to say that in order to address the problem we first have to define it,” she said.

Twitter, Google, Facebook, and for the third hearing, TikTok, joined the discussions, and heard from lawmakers a demand not to censor and erase, but to teach.

Defining the problem, Cotler-Wunsh says, begins with the IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism, “that’s been adopted by about 30 countries around the world that serves as the point from which to begin to create policy, policy that is transparent, that is then enforced transparently. Those are the discussions that we had with the platforms.”
International lawmakers to push social media giants on online anti-Semitism
An inter-parliamentary task force convened its first meeting Tuesday to hear recommendations from panelists on how to combat online anti-Semitism.

The group included members from across party lines in national legislatures from the United States, Australia, Canada, Israel, and the United Kingdom.

The meeting, on Zoom, opened with presentations from representatives of the American Jewish Committee, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs in Canada, B’nai Brith Canada, Canadian Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and the Online Hate Prevention Institute in Australia.

Several panelists and lawmakers encouraged the task force to push social media companies like Facebook and Twitter to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism. The classification includes demonization of Israel alongside more traditional forms of anti-Semitism, which critics say limits free speech.

During her presentation, AJC’s Holly Huffnagle recommended that the task force ask platforms to be transparent in the drafting of policies, algorithms and moderation systems, and that they abide by a set of core principals that will earn the public’s trust.
The Food Network and Food Community’s Sickening Tolerance of Antisemitism
In the wake of celebrity foodie Alton Brown’s tweets this week that offensively referenced the Holocaust, one thing seems to have been ignored that suggests a larger problem has raised its ugly head: antisemitism in the culinary arena.

Given the relative quiet from personalities in the food industry following Brown’s Twitter outburst, it’s likely that this issue isn’t solely relegated to one person.

Some background: At 7:48 pm on Tuesday, November 10, Brown — host of the Food Network’s Good Eats and a sometime guest on the cable channel’s show Chopped — tweeted the following message: “Do you think the the [sic] camp uniforms will be striped, like the ones at Auschwitz or will plaid be in vogue?” Additionally, in response to another individual’s tweet, Brown tweeted “I have no gold fillings,” a clear reference to the fillings stolen by the Nazis from the bodies of murdered Jews during the Holocaust.

Naturally, many individuals on the platform, Jewish and otherwise, condemned Brown’s words. The evening passed, and at 11:16 am the next day, Brown tweeted an apology: “I apologize for the flippant reference I made to the Holocaust in my tweet last night. It was not a reference I made for humorous effect but rather to reflect how deeply frightened I am for our country. It was a very poor use of judgement and in poor taste.” Meanwhile, the Auschwitz tweet had been deleted. Some accounts tweeted messages of forgiveness. Some didn’t.

Most apparent, however, was the silence from the food community. There was no uproar from the majority of chefs and restaurateurs. There even was support for Brown’s apology, as if that were enough to repair the hurt and cruelty spurred by his insensitivity.
‘Iron Chef America’ Host Alton Brown Apologizes for ‘Poor Taste’ in Comment About Auschwitz Uniforms
Alton Brown, the host of Food Network‘s “Iron Chef America,” apologized on Wednesday for a remark he made on Twitter about uniforms worn by prisoners at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

“I apologize for the flippant reference I made to the Holocaust in my tweet last night,” said Brown, who also hosts “Good Eats.”

“It was not a reference I made for humorous effect but rather to reflect how deeply frightened I am for our country,” he added. “It was a very poor use of judgement and in poor taste.”

On Tuesday, Brown, 58, had tweeted, “Do you think the camp uniforms will be striped, like the ones at Auschwitz or will plaid be in vogue?”

He deleted the tweet a short time later, but not before obtained a screenshot of the post and blasted the Food Network TV personality for the “atrocious comment.”
Now The New York Times Wants to Cancel the Word ‘Aliyah’
There’s so much tendentiousness here it’s hard to know where to start. A fine place to begin is the glaring lack of self-awareness. In falsely accusing Nasaw of displaying “a definite ideological tint,” the Times and its reviewer are exposing their own ideological tint. To use the Times’ own formulation, it’s perplexing.

It’s hugely hypocritical of the Times, which itself has used the word aliyah in its own news columns repeatedly, to fault Nasaw for doing so. “For Jews, moving to Israel is known as making Aliyah,” a 2016 Times news article said. “Some foreigners buy when making aliyah, a migration to Israel,” said a 2018 Times real estate article. A Times Jerusalem bureau chief, Jodi Rudoren, used the term matter-of-factly in a 2015 question and answer session with Times readers, noting that Prime Minister Netanyahu “called for mass aliyah, or immigration to Israel.” What is the Times going to do, go back over all these references and dozens, possibly hundreds more in its own archives and append editor’s notes apologizing for the “definite ideological tint” or “stock, boosterish terms”? What’s next, is the Times going to apologize for having used the word aliyah to describe a blessing said over the Torah, because it’s too ideologically tinted to use a word with a faintly positive connotation to describe anything involving the Five Books of Moses? Where were the book review editors when it comes to sparing Times readers from this sort of nonsense? What ever did Nasaw do to deserve this treatment?

“Miraculous”? Scorning that description as far as Israel is concerned is a shift from where the Times Book Review has been on the point. In the Book Review in 1999, Ethan Bronner, a veteran Timesman who did a stint as the paper’s Jerusalem bureau chief, reviewing a Benny Morris book, wrote: “the story of Israel’s monumental success is still beyond simple explanation. Morris makes this clear when he writes, ‘Each victory can be explained in the light of specific concrete factors, but, viewed as a whole, the success of the Zionist enterprise has been nothing short of miraculous.’ Traditional Zionist historians (and Zionists) will be pleased to learn that even in the new history there remains a sense of wonder.” Alas, that sense appears to have been eradicated at the Times in the ensuing 20 years. Would Adina Hoffman have the Times go back and append an editor’s note apologizing for the use of “stock, boosterish terms” by Benny Morris and Ethan Bronner? Why hold Nasaw to a different, tougher standard than the one the Times itself has followed? There is no good answer.

BBC WS radio errs on organisation of November 1995 peace rally
On November 4th BBC World Service radio aired an edition of the programme ‘Witness History’ titled ‘The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin’ which was first broadcast a decade ago.

“On November 4th 1995 the Israeli rock star Aviv Geffen sang at a peace rally in Tel Aviv alongside Israel’s leader Yitzhak Rabin. Moments later the Prime Minister was shot. Aviv Geffen spoke to Louise Hidalgo about that night, and its effect on his life.”

Near the beginning of the programme, presenter Louise Hidalgo sets the scene:

Hidalgo: “November the fourth 1995 and in central Tel Aviv a huge crowd has gathered at a peace rally called by Israel’s prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.”

Contrary to the impression given to listeners, that rally – ‘Yes to Peace, No to Violence’ – was not “called” or organised by Rabin himself.

In fact, in his book about Rabin’s assassination Dan Ephron writes that:

“…Rabin hated the idea of initiating a pro-government rally – it smacked of authoritarianism.”
CAMERA Letter to the Editor in The Washington Post Remember Palestinian Obstinacy
The Nov. 1 2020 news article “Mideast accords earn critics’ applause” noted a “promised peace” between Israelis and Palestinians “seems further away than ever.” But it’s not that peace is elusive. In fact, Palestinian leaders have rejected numerous offers for Palestinian statehood in exchange for peace with the Jewish state.

As the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis and others have noted, Palestinian leadership refused U.S. and Israeli proposals for statehood in 2000 at Camp David, 2001 at Taba and 2008 after the Annapolis Conference. The 2008 offer included 93.7% of the West Bank, with land swaps for the remainder, a capital in eastern Jerusalem and would’ve given Palestinians something that they’ve never had before: a state.

More recently, Palestinians rejected Obama administration efforts to restart negotiations in 2014 and 2016. Instead, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has incited anti-Jewish violence and refused to quit paying salaries to imprisoned Palestinian terrorists and their families. This, is a violation of the Oslo Accords that created the Palestinian Authority more than a quarter of a century ago.

Palestinian leadership could have chosen the path of peace, as the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have recently done. They’ve chosen otherwise.

Ontario City Council Adopts Universal Definition of Antisemitism
A city council in Ontario, Canada, unanimously adopted the widely accepted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism on Monday.

The Orillia City Council adopted the definition following an hour-long presentation by Holocaust survivor Max Eisen, whom the city’s mayor, Steve Clarke, met last year during a trip to Europe organized by the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal.

In his presentation, Eisen talked about surviving the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp.

The IHRA definition says: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

Avi Benlolo, former president and CEO of the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, applauded the resolution’s passage.

“Delighted that my good friend, Mayor Steve Clarke of Orillia has passed the @TheIHRA definition of #Antisemitism as part of city council. Bravo on another important milestone to stamp out hate and intolerance,” he tweeted.
Far-Right Extremists Mar Commemorations in Germany of Nazi Pogrom of November 1938
As Germany marked the 82nd anniversary earlier this week of the atrocities committed by the Nazis during “Reichspogromnacht,” far-right extremists marked the occasion with rowdy demonstrations and vandalism.

The Jewish community in Dresden expressed “great disbelief and full indignation” at the demonstration held by Pegida — a far-right, anti-immigrant organization — in the city on Monday night.

And in the city of Bochum, a historical exhibition about German-Jewish athletes sponsored by the DFB — Germany’s national soccer association — was smashed up and defaced with antisemitic slogans on Tuesday.

Ahead of the solemn anniversary of the Nov. 9-10, 1938 pogrom — in which more than 1,300 Jews were murdered and 1,400 synagogues were burned as Nazi thugs rampaged against Jewish-owned property and institutions across Germany and Austria — Jewish leaders had warned that their community was today “still endangered.”

“In addition to growing right-wing extremism and the permanent threat of Islamists, the Corona crisis has also led to an increase in antisemitism,” Josef Schuster — president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany — declared in a statement last week.

Several thousand far-right activists gathered for Monday night’s Pegida rally in Dresden. City authorities said they were unable to prevent the rally from going ahead for legal reasons.
How Israeli Innovation and Technology Is Saving Lives in Africa
Innovation Africa is just one Israeli NGO helping African nations receive access to clean water and electricity.

Michal Benari, the NGO's chief of staff, says that since 2008 they have positively impacted the lives of more than 2.2 million people across ten African countries.

"Utilizing Israeli innovations, the NGO helps to bring essential light and power equipment to schools, orphanages, and medical centers, and by harnessing the energy from the Sun, the organization constructs a solar water pumping system to pump safe, clean water from an aquifer."
Israeli Locust Fighters Task Force Arrives in Ethiopia
Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabi Ashkenazi has ordered the deployment of a task force of Israeli locust fighters and experts to support Ethiopian efforts in fighting the worst outbreak of locust swarms in 25 years.

Israel's top locust expert, Yoav Mortro, heads the task force, which will operate in Ethiopia for two weeks to train Ethiopian locust fighters.

The task force is bringing more than 2 tons of equipment and advanced appliances that will be handed over to the Ethiopian authorities at the conclusion of the operation.
Israel to legalize, regulate recreational cannabis market within 9 months
After four months in which the inter-ministerial committee for the regulation of Israel's cannabis market had been convening every week, it published its conclusions on Thursday and handed them over to the Justice Ministry.

Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn said that a legal memo will be drafted in the coming days for government approval, and that a bill could come to the Knesset floor for an initial reading even before the end of 2020, with the entire legislative process expected to take around nine months.

After receiving government approval, the bills will be rewritten into a new law under the supervision of Blue and White MK Michal Cotler-Wunsh, chairwoman of the Knesset's Special Committee on Drug and Alcohol Use.

"I see great importance that these two bills [for decriminalization and legalization] be put forth as a single bill, which will be a responsible, holistic step for Israel without compromise. I am committed to leading, advancing and supervising the application of these recommendations for reform, while doing the preparations required in the memo on time," Cotler-Wunsh said.

Luxury watch created by entrepreneur celebrates UAE-Israel deal
A watch aficionado and entrepreneur has decided to celebrate the recent UAE-Israel normalization deal in a unique way: by creating a limited edition watch to mark the occasion.

Dubbed the Israeli Designer Watch (IDW), the piece features a transparent, individually numbered case back, allowing the inner workings of the watch - a mixture of brushed and polished steel – to be seen. The face features a Star of David, while the blue hands and time markings are a nod to the colors of the Israeli flag.

An automatic watch – as opposed to a battery-powered quartz watch – the movement of the wearer powers the watch, a feature prized by watch connoisseurs. The crown at the side of the watch, which allows the time to be adjusted, is also topped with a Star of David. The watch also incorporates the high-end design which is a hallmark of Swiss watches.

The piece is the brainchild of watch entrepreneur Morris Weiss, who at 29 has recently made aliyah from Britain.

"The IDW watch is my personal expression of my love for Israel – the physical beauty of the land of Israel and the beauty that isn’t always seen, the sense of unity and brotherhood, a millennia-long resilience in the face of adversity and the contributions of the Jewish people to wider society, often disproportionate to our numbers," Weiss said.

He added: "The new Peace Accords between the UAE and Israel bring with them a moment of enormous hope for the region, a time to reflect on our similarities – our shared passion for family, for thinking big and for the finer things in life. I believe the Peace Accords will go a long way to help our nations understand each other’s way of life and way of doing business.”

Israeli Judoka Inbar Lanir Wins Gold at European Championships
Israeli judoka Inbar Lanir is the European Judo Champion in the under-23 category, having won a gold medal on Tuesday.

Lanir wasn’t the only Israeli on the podium at the event: Maya Goshen won the silver medal.

Women’s team coach Shani Hershko said, “Gold and silver at the same championships, Inbar Lanir is the European champion, it’s just amazing! To get to two final rounds in the European championships and to win gold is amazing, exciting, a historic achievement for the women’s team and the Judo Association!”

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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